These past few months have been filled with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Church’s have been closed, the sacraments have been without (not without some good reason) and thousands have died.
I would like to say that I have personally handled some of these struggles in the best way but that would not be the truth. I’ve struggled with anxiety for decades if not most of my life. Numerous things have happened over the course of the past 6 months where it feels as though life has been one chaotic moment after another.
Prayer becomes elusive when anxiety is through the roof. Blind faith is the only thing one has to hold on to, especially one who struggles with anxiety. These times have certainly not helped. What is a Catholic and an oblate to due when faced with anxiety and stress? Is there anything St. Benedict can help us with?
The promise of stability which oblates make comes to mind. It calls us to stick with it through the good and the bad. It reminds us that God is in every moment especially days like these. When stress and anxiety gets the better of us, stability reminds us that we still have a commitment to the promises we made and how we are to express those promises – prayer, lectio divina, etc… Keeping a routine has been helpful when everything else seems a bit chaotic.
Millions of individuals are currently suffering in ways that I cannot begin to comprehend. There very well may be more suffering and death in the near future. Fear and anxiety can easily strangle the life within us that God wishes to give. Hunkering down in the monastic practices we have learned as oblates is a sure means of keeping our eyes on Christ and not on something we have little control over.
Even though Lent seems to have lastEd far longer this year than expected, we must remind ourselves that we are an Easter people living in the Easter Season. Death, anxiety and fear are real struggles for many yet Christ our life, our peace and our hope dispels/ the darkness we all to often see today.
A lot of the anxiety and darkness was dispelled this morning as I was able to attend Mass for the first time since this began. I was blessed to be able to carry everyone in my heart who could not attend. There is a certain grace that comes with not being able to receive the sacraments. A longing grows in ones heart. Maybe God is calling us during this time to cultivate that longing for him. May he bless us all during these difficult times!